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Reaction to major European clubs announcing a breakaway Super League

Reuters , Monday 19 Apr 2021
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Twelve of Europe's top football clubs announced on Sunday they were launching a breakaway Super League in the face of widespread opposition from within the game and beyond.

Following are some reactions to the news:

WORLD SOCCER'S GOVERNING BODY FIFA IN A STATEMENT

"FIFA always stands for unity in world football and calls on all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game and in the spirit of solidarity and fair play.

"We will, of course, do whatever is necessary to contribute to a harmonised way forward in the overall interests of football."

EUROPEAN SOCCER'S GOVERNING BODY UEFA IN A JOINT STATEMENT WITH SPANISH, ENGLISH AND ITALIAN LEAGUES AND FEDERATIONS

"UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, La Liga, Lega Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations – will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.

"We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening."

ENGLAND'S FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

"It is clear that this would be damaging to English and European football at all levels and will attack the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are fundamental to competitive sport."

ENGLAND'S PREMIER LEAGUE

"Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream."

UK PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON

"Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football. They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country. The clubs involved must answer to their fans."

UK LABOUR LEADER KEIR STARMER

"This proposal risks shutting the door on fans for good, reducing them to mere spectators and consumers."

GABRIELE GRAVINA, PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION (FIGC)

"We have been always against a Super League. The only viable project is the Champions League reform promoted by UEFA."

GERMAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION (DFB)

"The German Football Association (DFB) is against the concept of a European Super League. It is the performance that determines promotion and relegation. Economic interests of a few clubs should not end the practiced solidarity in football."

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON

"The president of the Republic welcomes the position of French clubs to refuse to participate to a European football Super League project that threatens the principle of solidarity and sporting merit."

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SPORTS GROUP

"The proposed closed competition of super rich clubs would form a privileged caste outside the structures of European club football, with no other purpose than making profit."

EX-FA AND MAN CITY CHAIRMAN DAVID BERNSTEIN

"There are two things in play here, one is greed and the other is desperation because some of these clubs ... have incurred enormous debts, certainly Barcelona and Real Madrid and at least one of the English clubs who shall remain nameless are approaching one billion pounds ($1.39 billion) of debt.

"It's a lifeline that is going to end, if it happens at all, very badly."

FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS EUROPE, WITH MEMBERS IN 48 COUNTRIES

"The only ones who stand to gain are hedge funds, oligarchs and a handful of already wealthy clubs, many of which perform poorly in their own domestic leagues despite their inbuilt advantage."

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR SUPPORTERS' TRUST

"Along with fan groups at Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, we wholeheartedly oppose the move to create a closed shop for Europe’s elite."

THE ARSENAL SUPPORTERS' TRUST

"The death of Arsenal as a sporting institution."

SOUTHAMPTON MANAGER RALPH HASENHUETTL

For me it's absolutely unacceptable what is going on behind the scenes. Nobody wants it - not even the fans of the clubs who want to go there want it."

FORMER MANCHESTER UNITED CAPTAIN GARY NEVILLE

"I'm disgusted with Manchester United and Liverpool the most. They're breaking away to a competition they can't be relegated from? It's an absolute disgrace.

"The owners of Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City have nothing to do with football in this country."

FORMER MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER ALEX FERGUSON

"Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football. In my time at United, we played in four Champions League finals and they were always the most special of nights."

FORMER ENGLAND STRIKER GARY LINEKER

"(I) Sense this Super League plot will die on its preposterous and avaricious arse."

($1 = 0.7219 pounds)

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